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Atlanta Drops 4-1 Contest to South Carolina

Sunday, December 10th
Atlanta Drops 4-1 Contest to South Carolina

The Atlanta Gladiators returned home for their third game in as many days as they welcomed the South Carolina Stingrays to the Infinite Energy Arena for the second of a home-and-home set. A three-point performance from Patrick Gaul made the difference, as he led the Stingrays to a 4-1 victory.

South Carolina would open the game’s scoring at the 7:17 mark of the first period with a shorthanded tally. Gaul stole the puck off a defender’s stick behind the net in his offensive zone and sent a pass up the boards to Joey Leach. The former Calgary Flames draft pick then teed-up a slap-shot from the point that sailed over the glove of Dan Vladar for his first goal of the season.

With just 2:03 left to play in the opening frame, the Stingrays found the net once again to increase their lead to 2-0. Kris Bindulis collected the puck after a hit in his defensive zone and sent a pass forward to Kelly Zajac. The Winnipeg, MB native then brought the puck into the neutral zone where he found Andrew Cherniwchan open at the blue line. Cherniwchan skated the puck into the zone and took a shot from the slot that went high-blocker side for his ninth goal of the campaign.

Atlanta would respond to cut the score to 2-1 with 2:00 remaining in the second period. Zach Malatesta received the puck at the near-side point and waited for an opening shooting lane. Once he got around the defender, the rookie blasted a shot that was deflected past South Carolina goaltender Jeff Jakaitis by Tanner Pond. Collin Sullivan added his name to the scoresheet with the secondary assist on Pond’s second goal of the season.

The Stingrays would then regain their two-goal lead 2:56 into the third period. Leach carried the puck into the offensive zone for the visitors and backhanded a shot that rebounded off the pad of Vladar. Gaul then recovered the rebound and slid a shot into the open net for his seventh goal of the season. Nick Roberto was credited with the secondary assist on the goal that put South Carolina up 3-1.

Just under three minutes of playing time later, the visitors struck once again to go up 4-1. Joe Devin was the goal scorer for the Stingrays as he tapped in the loose puck at the back door. Taylor Cammarata was given the assist on the play as he took the original shot on net, while Gaul added his third point of the night as well.

Unable to defeat the Stingrays for the second straight day, Atlanta dropped to 12-11-1-1 on the season and remain in fourth in the South Division with 26 points. Meanwhile, South Carolina improved to 14-4-3-1 with the road victory and are still in second in the division with 32 points.

Up next, Atlanta will embark on a six-game road trip that starts on Friday night in Kalamazoo. The Gladiators will face off against the Wings at 7:00pm on December 15th at the Wings Event Center.

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